In June 2004, the first European transport spaceship, the Automated Transfer Vehicle called Jules Verne, will be brought to a cosmodrome. Rosaviakosmos participates in the ATV construction.
In September 2004, it will be launched with cargo from the Kourou cosmodrome of the European Space Agency to the International Space Station, ESA leading specialist Patrice Amadieu told the Friday briefing at the MAKS-2003 air show.
The designed weight of the ISS is 450 tonnes, but now it weighs only 175 tonnes, said Amadieu. The ISS rate of construction has been slowed down because, following the Columbia catastrophe, the service flights of American shuttles have been suspended. The building of a European transport ship may help to remedy the situation.
Russia will prepare a system for automatic rapprochement and docking of the ATV and the Russian ISS segment. This work will be over this year. Next year the European space truck will get the Russian refuelling system, said Amadieu.
The ATV will deliver up to 10-tonne cargoes to the ISS. The working volume of the ATV will be 45 cubic meters, said the ESA specialist.
Upon undocking after a 6-month stay with the ISS and passing through the dense atmosphere, the ATV will burn, said Amadieu.